Tuesday, August 28, 2012

video when you don't have a smartphone...

Quick little video from our visit to the park today, The little guy is doing great on his Strider! Sorry for the crummy quality of the video...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the most awesomest derailleur


I run a mid '80's Suntour cyclone front changer on my Surly Pacer (yes, seriously!) Suntour always had the best front changers. There is just something about them that is rock solid reliable and fast.
Something else about them; they are serviceable. Mine had developed a problem from last winter. It was hanging up on the big ring and didn't want to downshift. WD-40 wasn't able to loosen it up, so I took it apart. One C-clip and pop the return spring and you can clean and lube the pivots. Works as good as new.
The arms and clamp are all forged aluminum, the pivots are chromed steel. Just awesome.
The cable pinch bolt is another bit of genius; you can use either a 4mm allen key OR a 6mm wrench. It too is steel so it won't strip out.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the better way to learn how to ride a bike

How did you learn to ride a bicycle? Lots of people it seems used training wheels, and after a while, Dad would remove the training wheels, and give the little one a good push down the street.
This method hasn't worked too well in our household...

But I've stumbled onto something that seems like a better way: balance bikes. These are bicycles without pedals or a drivetrain. My friend Tomias, who owns Genesis Bicycles , turned me on to Striders . These are really cool, check out the video:
I had my 3yo in Genesis the other day, and he immediately took to the Strider! He was able to lift it off the display himself (they are VERY light) and got on it and instinctively knew what he had to do.
Now, if the middle girl will be willing to ride her older brother's hand-me-down Haro mini BMX, I won't have to buy two bikes this year...

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Orange Singlespeeder Is Coming Along Nicely

I ordered some parts for the orange Trek. Got some Shimano cranks, Alivio I think. They were the most economical ones w/ removable rings, and it's a forged crank too, 104mm 4 bolt. I'll be getting a Surly 36t stainless ring for it and save the stock 22-32-42 if we ever go geared.
The brakes are Shimano V brakes, a generic lower end set. What I like about Shimano stuff is, it just plain works. The lower end stuff (if you choose carefully) works pretty well, does away w/ the fluff and is economical.
I dug out a vintage pair of Cannondale CODA grips in yellow! Free is always better than having to spend money, especially on a bike like this.
just waiting on the Surly ring, a chain and pedals.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm back, building a new bike

As life goes, life gets in the way of things like, oh, blogging. And in the case of THIS blog, which is about family cycling, if we aren't out riding, there isn't anything to write about.
Until now.
This is a new/old build I'm doing for my 12yo who has outgrown his Haro mini. It's based on a mid '90's vintage Trek 820. For a very short time, Trek was actually making these in the USA! My wife has one in blue from the same year. Nice cro-mo frames, nothing fancy, just a simple mountain bike like no one makes anymore.
It's going to be singlespeed, using a wheelset I built many years ago. The rear hub is a vintage Shimano BMX freehub (the freewheel mechanism is part of the hub, like modern hubs, but uses a Sturmey-Archer style cog). The rims are narrow double wall, forget what brand.
I ordered some Shimano linear pull brakes and a Shimano crank too. The handlebar will be a vintage Hyperlite I was using most recently on my Surly.
Chain tension will be by a Surly thingy.
Cool thing about this, with a rear wheel swap I can have a geared mountain bike, but I think this will be fun for now.